December 21, 2010

High-Speed Rail Comes to Allensworth

At their December 20, 2010 board meeting the California High-Speed Rail Authority voted to committee matching state funds to the additional $616 million Federal High-Speed Rail Support funds – which were redistributed after being returned by Wisconsin and Ohio. These additional funds bring the total available for construction of the first segment of the California High-Speed rail to $5.5 billion.
The initial segment will begin in the Central Valley and incorporate as many as 120 miles depending on which of the alternative alignments are selected.

  • Through Corcoran OR Corcoran Bypass
  • West of Allensworth Park OR along BNSF east of Allensworth Park
  • Through Wasco & Shafter OR Wasco & Shafter Bypass
The alignment adjacent to the BNSF will impact Allensworth State Historic Park , the alternative west of the BNSF will avoid Allensworth State Historic Park.

The first segment will begin near Madera, north of Fresno, and end in Shafter, about 10 miles north of Bakersfield. If the more expensive alignments are selected the track will only be about 90 miles and stop at Allensworth. Alignment selection will be made after all environmental studies have been completed.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

December 08, 2010

California State Parks Foundation Travel Center

Now you can make your reservations for the Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park campground and help the California State Parks Foundation at the same time. The California State Parks Foundation has partnered with The Active Network, EveryTrail, and Travelcity Partner Network to create the new California State Parks Foundation Travel Center. For each reservation made through the travel center the California State Parks Foundation receives 50 cent. California State Parks Foundation members will also get up to 10 percent off of their camping reservation.

At the California State Parks Foundation travel center you can:

• Download trail guides for different state parks

• Reserve rental cars

• Book flights

• Make hotel reservations

To receive your member discount and for the California State Parks Foundation to earn 50 cent you have to go to

Take a few minutes now to bookmark the California State Parks Foundation travel center, even better reserve one of the parks 115 campsites for the Friends of Allensworth Black History Month program in February or Colonel Allen Allensworth’s birthday celebration in April.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

November 25, 2010

Chapter Founder Parnell Lovelace

Parnell Lovelace, the founder and first president of the San Diego chapter of the Friends of Allensworth had emergency surgery  on November 3, 2010. Since the surgery he has been living at the Jacob Health Care Center in San Diego. 

His wife Wilma and son Ralph have created a website with a service called Caring Bridge to keep Parnell's family and friends updated  on his status and to  leave messages for him and his family.  You can also view pictures of Parnell with his family and the health care center staff celebrating his 80th birthday.

Please take a moment to visit the website and leave a message in the Guestbook.

You can send flowers and cards to:
Jacob Health Care Center
4075 54th Street, Room #207
San Diego, CA 92105

Stephen Hill, Sr.

October 27, 2010

Ranger Shelton Johnson on the Oprah show.

During Oprah and Gayle’s Big Yosemite Camping Adventure Ranger Shelton Johnson give them camping tips. Their Yosemite Camping trip airs in two parts; Friday, October 29, 2010 and Wednesday, November 3, 2010. A preview of the Oprah show can be seen on the REI web site.

During the 2008 Allensworth Centennial celebration Ranger Johnson did a Buffalo Soldier Living History Interpretation. Buffalo Soldiers built the first trail to the top of Mt. Whitney as well as the first museum in what would become Yosemite National Park. Ranger Johnson also starred in Ken Burn’s series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. The clip below is from the Ken Burn’s series.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

October 22, 2010

Allensworth Ghost Tours

On Friday, October 29th park rangers and members of the Porterville Ghost Society will share stories about their ghostly encounters as they lead visitors on a lantern light tour around Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park. The Porterville Ghost Society will also have a display and demonstration of the specialized equipment they use to detect paranormal activity.

The 90 minute walking tour will begin at the visitor center parking lot and end at the historic Allensworth hotel, where Halloween treats will be given out. The first tour starts at 8:30 pm with the second tour starting at 10:30 pm. The tours cost $10.00 per person, children 12 and under are free.

Contact Steve Ptomey or Jerelyn Oliveira at 661-849-3433 for more information. Or email or

Stephen Hill, Sr.

October 19, 2010

Prop. 21 Television Spots

Below are two television ads for the Yes on 21 campaign that started airing statewide today. “The new ads showcase how budget cuts and underfunding are destroying California’s state parks and beaches and focus on Proposition 21 as the solution to protect parks, wildlife and water.”

Supporters of Prop 21 can also create their own 15 - 30 second campaign videos and post them to the Yes on 21 for state parks web site. The site also list nearly 700 organizations that have endorsed Prop 21.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

September 25, 2010

2010 Rededication Celebration

We invite you, your family, and friends to join us as we travel back in time to a period when the Allensworth community was busting with vitality. When the glee club traveled in a Model A Ford to surrounding towns – from Bakersfield to Fresno and back over in the hills to places like Lindsay and Porterville. And the women gathered at each other’s homes to make quilts from the scraps of wore out shirts and dresses.

On Saturday, October 9th Friends of Allensworth members and visitors from all over California will descend on Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park for the 2010 Rededication celebration.

The program will feature live entertainment on the main stage – a puppet show featuring Colonel Allensworth, Spoken Word Artist, Gospel Music, Jazz, Square Dancers, Praise Team, and guest speaker George Palmer. You will be able to purchase food from the vendors or bring your own. Vendors will also be selling art, cards and other African American goods. While touring the historic homes and businesses you will have an opportunity to hear Allensworth decedents share stories that were passed down from their parents and grandparents. Or you can take a ride around the park on one of bikes from the park’s new fleet of rentals bikes.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

September 23, 2010

Frances K. Jackson Businesswoman of the Year

Congratulations to Frances K. Jackson, vice-president of the San Diego Chapter of the Friends of Allensworth, on being selected as the 2010 African American Business Women of Vision’s (AABWV) Businesswoman of the year. Frances will be honored at the AABWV 13th Anniversary Celebration Dinner.

13th Anniversary Celebration
African American Business Women of Vision
Friday, October 15, 2010
Mission Valley Resort, 875 Hotel Circle South, San Diego, CA 92108
Registration and vendors 6:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Program and Dinner starts at 7:00 p.m.

To register for the celebration dinner fill out the attached form. Sponsorships and vendor tables are also available. To RSVP or get more information about the celebration contact Dee Sanford at or 619-263-6868.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

September 16, 2010

Addie Singleton Talk

The Valley of the Flowers United Church of Christ in Lompoc, California will host a talk by Addie Singleton on Sunday, September 19th. Addie Singleton is a descendant of Joshua and Henrietta Singleton owners of the Singleton store in Allensworth, California. The Singleton store was in operation until Mr. Singleton died in 1928. You can read more about the Singleton friend on the Friends of Allensworth website.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

11:15 a.m.

Admission and refreshments are free.

For more information, visit or call 805-733-3333.

Stephen Hill, SR.

September 12, 2010

Allensworth: A Place. A People. A Story.

Stormy Reflection
By David Green


The exhibit Allensworth: a Place. A People. A Story.

A collective photographic study of Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park by Photographers Rick Russell, David Paul Green, Karen Carll, Clark Campbell, Jean Carter, Ted Dayton, Christy Stallcup, Robert Mance and April Bielefeldt.

The exhibit includes a video created by Dusty and Barbara Stiles that celebrates the contributions of docents and volunteers at Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park.

Visit the California African American Museum website to view samples the exhibit photos.


August 26, 2010 – February 27, 2011


California African American Museum

600 State Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90037


Admission to the museum is free however, parking is $8.00

Hours of Operation:

The museum galleries are open Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM; Sunday 11:00 – 5:00 pm.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

August 29, 2010

Ghost Tours

Colonel Allen Allensworth's Home

Start off your Labor Day weekend with a Ghost Tour of Colonel Allensworth SHP.

There are two tours scheduled for Saturday, September 4th, 8:30 pm and 10:30 pm.

You can read about Porterville Ghost Society’s Allensworth investigation in the Winter 2010 issue of our newsletter.

There are also two tours scheduled for Friday, October 29th.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

August 25, 2010

Allensworth Interviews: A Video by Dusty Stiles.

In this 19 minute video Dusty Stiles interviews Allensworth State Historic Park docents ; Emmett Harden, Marianna Reliforte, Hazel Kennedy, Josephine Herring , park interpreter Jerelyn Olivera and photographers Rick Russell and David Green.

This video is part of an upcoming Allensworth exhibition at the California African-American Museum in Exhibition Park, Los Angeles. The exhibition is the result of a photo project conceived by Rick Russell. Russell and nine of his friends spent the day at Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park and taking photographers of the park which were put into a book: “Allensworth: A Place. A People. A Story.” The book will be sold at the park with proceeds benefitting the park and Friends of Allensworth.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

August 22, 2010

Colonel Allensworth Third Annual 5K Run Walk For Health

When: Saturday, October 9, 2010 at 9:00 A.M.

Course: Our certified 5K Run Walk course will begin and end at Colonel Allensworth SHP.

Features: T-shirt, Refreshments, Random Drawing, Timing, aid stations stocked with water, healthy eats and volunteers.

Awards Ceremony: The fastest three male and female finishers for the 5K Run Walk in each age division: 12 under, 13-15, 16-19, 20-29, 30-39,40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-over will receive a trophy.

Entry Fee:

Before September 30, 2010: $20 for adults, $15 seniors; $7 for youth 12 years and younger.

After October 7, 2010: $22 for adults, $16 seniors; $8 for youths 12 years and younger.

Virtual Runner /Walker: Donations of $20 or more will receive a T-shirt by mail.

The certifed walk/run course begins and ends at the park in time to allow participants to take part in the annual Rededication Day activities.

Register online at:

Or you can down load the entry form and mail it to:
Colonel Allensworth 3rd Annual 5K Run Walk for Health, P.O. Box 192046, Sacramento, CA 95819

For more information, contact Project Coordinator Dorothy Benjamin at (916) 346-4767

August 12, 2010

Hidden Stories Series Reception

California State Parks Foundation (CSPF) invites you to an evening reception and history presentation on September 23 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park . This event will focus on the life and contributions of Allen Light and Richard Freeman, early African-American settlers in Old Town who co-owned the San Diego House, a one-story saloon and provisions store in what become the birthplace of California – San Diego.

The evening will include light hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer at the newly-restored Cosmopolitan Hotel in Old Town , followed by a presentation by Historian and Senior Park Aide Guire John Cleary. A tour of the San Diego House will be available for interested parties after the presentation.

This reception is part of CSPF’s Hidden Stories Series, a program dedicated to exploring and uncovering the hidden stories of various groups in the foundation of California and the California State Parks . The program debuted in May of 2009 with the inaugural conference 100 Years Since Allensworth: Is California Living up to the Legacy?, which examined the hidden stories of African-Americans from the 1840’s Gold Rush, to the 1950’s segregated beaches of Los Angeles, and to the eventual establishment of San Diego.

For more information and to RSVP online by September 15, please visit Space is limited.

Marygrace Lopez
Program Manager
California State Parks Foundation

July 25, 2010

Colonel Allensworth SHP Now has a Bike Rental Fleet!

Thanks to a donation from Walmart you will able to rent a bicycle next time you visit Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park. The park now has a fleet of two step thru ladies bikes and three heavy duty Sun Atlas beach cruisers.

Ranger Steven Ptomey said Allensworth is the perfect place to bike.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

July 22, 2010

Passing of Mrs. Josephine Blodgett Smith

Mrs. Josephine Blodgett Smith

1914 – 2010

We recently learned of the death of Mrs. Josephine Blodgett Smith, the granddaughter of Colonel Allen and Josephine Allensworth. Mrs. Smith was a member of the Advisory Committee that performed the site study that lead to the Department of Parks and Recreation acquiring and developing the historic town site of Allensworth into a California State historic Park.

Mrs. Smith recently celebrated her 96th birthday and was surrounded by family at the time of her passing. The family is preparing a small private service and has requested that no flowers be sent. We ask that you keep the family in your prayers.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

July 16, 2010

Star Gazing Party

Star Gazing Party

“Star Gazing” party at Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park on Friday, July 30th, 9 pm to midnight.

Colonel Allensworth SHP’s location, away from the glow of bright city lights, makes it an ideal place for star gazing.

Come out and see how many constellations you can identify. Maybe you will be lucky enough to witness a shooting star crashing and burning high in Earth’s upper atmosphere. Or maybe you will spot an earth grazer, a long, slow and colorful meteor that skims the Earth’s atmosphere like a stone skipping across the surface of a pond.

Bring a comfortable chair, bug spray, food and drinks, blanket, and a red-filtered flashlight for reading maps and charts without ruining your night vision. Binoculars and telescopes are optional.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

July 07, 2010

California Major Newsletters Support Prop 21

The State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act of 2010 is now Proposition 21.

Major newspapers throughout California have written editorials supporting Proposition 21.

The San Luis Obispo Tribune:

“State parks are far too important to our economy, our health and our quality of life to continually be at the mercy of the ups and downs of the economy or the whims of politicians.”

“Proposition 21 is the most expeditious and practical way to generate the revenue we need to repair our endangered parks, beaches and historic landmarks.”

The Sacramento Bee:

“The parks have more than $100 million worth of maintenance needs each year. But shrinking budgets mean that only a portion of the work gets done. Projects get delayed and accumulate. Today, the state parks system has a maintenance backlog of $1.3 billion.”

KNBC-TV Los Angeles highlighted the poor maintenance conditions in Southern California State Parks in a two-part report.


• Send out a press release announcing your support for Yes for State Parks

• Become a fan of Yes for State Parks on Facebook and post a link to the Yes for State Parks page on your wall

• Follow Yes4StateParks on twitter

• Include Yes for State Parks in your next e-newsletter

• Post the Yes for State Parks web banner o your homepage, social media profile or blog

• Submit a letter to the editor of your local paper about Yes for State Parks

• Purchase official Yes for State Parks merchandise

Stephen Hill, Sr.

June 29, 2010

Library of Congress Veterans History Project

San Diego chapter of the Friends of Allensworth member Ernest H. Collier profiled in the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. The Veterans History Project preserves and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans. The project collects first-hand accounts of U.S. Veterans from the following wars:

• World War I (1914-1920)

• World War II (1939-1946)

• Korean War (s.1950-1955)

• Vietnam War (1961-1975)

• Persian Gulf War (1990-1995)

• Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts (2001-present)

Ernest Collier services with the 9th Cavalry Regiment and the 24th Infantry Regiment, two of the Army’s four Buffalo Soldier regiments. Allen Allensworth was the chaplain of the 24th Infantry Regiment from 1886 to 1906. Many of the first settlers of Allensworth, California were members of the four Buffalo soldier regiments and their families.

This Sunday Ernest Collier will be one of the Grand Marshals for the 2010 Spirit of the Fourth Independence Day Parade in Rancho Bernardo, California. The 2010 Spirit of the Fourth parade is celebrating the theme, “In the Spirit of Service” and is honoring Wounded Warriors. Ernest Collier is a Korean War veteran whose Purple Heart was earned in South Korea in 1951. The battle area was near Pusan, Korea. The actual award was made by General Mark Clark at Letterman Hospital, in San Francisco, CA.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

June 18, 2010

California’s Heartland DVD

5min Life Videopdia has just added the below video to their site. The 5 minute video is taken from the KVIE Public Television production African Americans in California’s Heartland. Produced in cooperation with The Sacramento Observer, the DVD explores the history of African Americans in the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada from the Gold Rush through the 1950s.

In addition to Allensworth, the DVD relates the stories of the Gooch/Monroe family, whose descendants owned much of Coloma; the Buffalo Soldiers stationed in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks; the civil rights case of runaway slave Archy Lee; and the entrepreneurial Dunlap Family, who operated a famous Sacramento restaurant frequented by Senators.

You can purchase the DVD at the KVIE web site. The site also has lesson plans and the DVD transcript.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

June 12, 2010

Initiative Qualified for November Ballot

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen has qualified the State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act of 2010 for the November 2nd state wide ballot. Last year’s budget cuts caused closures or reductions in 150 of the state’s 278 state parks, and caused a backlog of more than $1 billion in needed maintenance and repairs.

The trust fund will generate approximately $500 million annually to be used to restore, maintain and keep state parks like Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park open and accessible to the public. The trust fund will also make the General Fund dollars that would have been used for the state parks to be available for other vital needs such as public health and education.

The Trust Fund Act has the support of conservation organizations, parks organizations, coastal and ocean organizations, business, hospitality and tourism organizations, Latino organizations, public safety organizations and more. To learn more about the initiative and see a full list of supporters go to

Stephen Hill, Sr.

June 03, 2010

Allensworth Heavy Maintenance Facility a No Go

In our Winter 2010 newsletter we reported that the Tulare County Association of Governments (TCAG) submitted a proposal to the California High Speed Rail Authority to build a heavy maintenance facility in Allensworth for the High Speed Rail System.

In a June 3, 2010 news release the California High-Speed Rail Authority announced that Allensworth was one of four sites that should not be included in further studies for the heavy maintenance facility because of land size, distance from recommended alignments and/or environmental impacts.

The authority recommended four sites for continued study as potential location for the Heavy Maintenance Facility.
     • Fresno Works – Located in Fresno
     • Kings County – Located in Hanford
     • Kern Council of Governments – Located in Wasco
     • Kern Council of Governments – Located in Shafter

Stephen Hill, Sr.

May 31, 2010

Allensworth High-Speed Rail Bypass

During the June 3, 2010 California High-Speed Rail Authority monthly meeting the staff will describe the alignment alternatives on the Fresno – Bakersfield section of the high-speed rail route. The monthly meeting will be held in the Sacramento City Council Chambers, 915 I Street, at 9:00 am.

Part of the alignment alternative is the Allensworth bypass. The current route of the High-Speed Rail impacts Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park, the Allensworth Ecological Reserve and the Pixley National wildlife Refuge. Most of the Pixley National Wildlife Refuge and Allensworth Ecological Reserve are located east of the current route. A bypass to the west would avoid the State Park, the Ecological Reserve, and the Pixley National wildlife Refuge.

A map the Allensworth bypass can be seen on the California High-Speed Rail Authority website.

The Alternatives Analysis report will be posted by the morning of June 3rd.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

May 27, 2010

Slow Starvation of Our State Parks

In Governor Arnold Schwarenegger’s January budget proposal funding for California State Parks was removed from the general fund and the state parks were to be funded from proceeds from the Tranquillon ridge off shire oil drilling project. After the Gulf of Mexico oil spill the governor has withdrawn his support for the Tranqillon Ridge project. So where does this leave the California state parks?

Budget cuts have already forced nearly 150 of the state’s 278 state parks to partially close or reduce services. Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park is closed Monday thru Thursday to all vehicular traffic, and has no restrooms, trash or water service on these days.

The Legislative Analyst Office, an independent analyst that provides recommendations to the legislature, has suggested that state parks funding be cut an additional $22 million; this will cause additional closures and more service reductions.

Last week the National Trust for Historic Preservation said:

“Few states have seen as many cuts to state parks and heritage-related programs as California, one of six states identified by the National Trust as prime examples of the nationwide problem.”

Take Action and contact your legislator right now to support park funding!

Stephen Hill, Sr.

May 18, 2010

A Place Out Of Time – The Bordentown School


“A Place Out Of Time – The Bordentown School”

Narrated by Ruby Dee, the film airs nationally May 24th at 10 P.M. on PBS

Nicknamed the “Tuskegee of the North,” for 70 years the Bordentown school was an educational utopia, where generations of black children received academic and trade training, and - most importantly - they learned values, discipline, and life skills. After the Brown V. Board of Education Supreme Court decision Bordentown “went from being perceived as an educational utopia to a Jim Crow school,” by the black press and many Black leaders.

Colonel Allensworth and his colleagues tried to build a “Tuskegee of the West” at Allensworth, California. In 1914 there was a bill to establish a state-funded and federally aided land-grant school at Allensworth. However, black leaders in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland were concerned that a voluntary segregated school would be a step backward in California’s battle to integrate the schools and the bill was defeated.

A Place Out of Time – The Bordentown School” a documentary film narrated by legendary actress Ruby Dee tells the story of this remarkable institution through the life stories and memories of alumni, scholars and historians, and archival footage and photographs.

From 1886 to 1955, the Bordentown School was the only state-run, all-black, co-educational boarding school north of the Mason-Dixon Line. The school attracted visitors such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Paul Robeson, Jesse Owens, Albert Einstein, Mary McCloud Bethune, and Booker T. Washington. S. A. Haley, father of author Alex Haley; William Hastie, the first black U.S. Appeals Court judge; and Lester Granger, former leader of the Urban League were members of the faculty and staff. Notable Bordentown alumni include celebrated jazz organist Rhoda Scott, and George Grant dentist, Harvard professor, and inventor of the golf tee.

You can purchase a DVD of “A Place Out of Time” from the Hudson West Productions website. Hudson West Productions is a not-for-profit, 502(c)3 production company whose documentaries have been seen on television in the UK, Norway, and Australia, and have screened at film festivals in New York, Chicago, Paris, Dublin, Montreal, Amsterdam, St. Petersburg, Sydney, and Upsala.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

May 06, 2010

Old Time Jubilee

Saturday, May 15, 2010 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Join the Friends of Allensworth and the California Department of Parks and Recreation at Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park for our annual Old Time Jubilee. Co-authors Joslyn Gaines Vanderpool and Anita Royston will use song, dance, and music to tell stories from their book”Our Black Fathers” Brave, Bold & Beautiful. The stories in “Our Black Fathers” challenge the stereotype that all black men are absent from and unaccountable to the black family unit.

George Palmer will speak about “The Roads of Allensworth” which are named after African Americans such as Charles Young and Paul Laurence Dunbar; the town’s lake was named after Booker T. Washington. Also performing will be gospel soloist Letrice Morning.

In addition to the activities on the stage, the historic building will be open for tours. There will be arts and crafts vendors, food vendors and activities for the children.

Vehicle Entry Fees:

Cars: $6.00

Small Bus: $50.00 (24 passengers or less)

Buses: $100.00 (25 or more passengers)

Camping: $20.00 per night

For information contact:

CASHP (661) 849-4012

Bakersfield (661) 633-1577

Delano (661) 725-8210

Fremont (510) 651-8323

Oakland (510) 569-4618

Sacramento (530) 949-2168

San Diego (619) 263-9101

Vallejo (707) 635-1635

April 30, 2010

Ghost Tracking

The Fresno Ghost Tracking Meetup Group will be at Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park on Saturday, May 8th for an investigation of the park. The group will meet at the park at 6:00 pm for a tour of the park. After the tour they will break for dinner then return to the park at 10:00 pm to begin the investigation of the park.

The Fresno meetup group is the second ghost tracking group to investigate the park. The first group was the Porterville Ghost Society, on September 12th, 2009. You can read about their investigation in the Winter 2010 issue of the San Diego Chapter of the Friends of Allensworth newsletter.

The cost of the May 12th event is $40.00 per person. To join the Fresno Ghost Tracking Meetup group contact Angie Matthews at the group’s Meetup page.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

April 27, 2010

Thank You e-card

Recent budget cuts have caused California state park rangers and their staff to work harder than they have ever done in the past. In addition to leading tours of the parks the staff’s daily duties include such things as maintaining trails and access roads, and repairing and cleaning restrooms.

The California State Parks Foundation has created a special “Thank You” e-card that they are asking their supporters to sign and write special messages to park personnel.

If you have ever visited Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park please take a few minutes to send a Thank You e-card to Ranger Steven Ptomey and his staff. Let them know how much you appreciate their hard work and all of the support they have given the Friends of Allensworth during our special events at the park.

In addition to the above duties Ranger Steven Ptomey is an ambassador for Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park. He regularly speaks about Allensworth at local schools, colleges, and museums. He has also promoted the park on local television shows. And somehow he finds time to maintain a Facebook page for Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

April 21, 2010

Negro town on American Idol

On tonight’s American Idol’s Idol Gives Back show Randy and Morgan Freeman visited Mound Bayou, Mississippi, a U. S. Negro town: settled on July 12, 1887 by ex-slaves of Joe Davis, Isaiah T. Montgomery (member of 1890 state convention) and his cousin, Benjamin T. Green.

You can read about the history of Mound Bayou and view historic pictures of the town at the Mound Bayou Movement web site.

The television event Idol Gives Back began in 2007 as a way for those behind American Idol to "give back" and harness American Idol's ability to capture America's hearts and the power of entertainment to benefit some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

April 17, 2010

Historical Ride to Allensworth State Park

This is a five minute video of a coupe’s Historical Ride to Allensworth State Park on April 10, 2010. They rode their trikes to the park. At the park they flew kites while their friends Steve and Terri walked around the park. One of the park rangers even came over and flew kites with them.

Hope you enjoy this five minute tour of Allensworth State Historic Park.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

April 09, 2010

Old Time Jubilee Train Ride

The Sacramento chapter of the Friends of Allensworth and CTD Dream Builders are sponsoring a train ride to the May 15th Old Time Jubilee. CTD Dream Builders is a youth outreach program dedicated to helping youth set goals and ensuring they reach those goals.

Families will board the train at the Sacramento Amtrak station and enjoy a free breakfast on the ride to Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park. The train will make a special stop that lets the families off only feet away from the Hindsman General Store. After enjoying the Old Time Jubilee activities the families will re-board the train for the return trip to Sacramento and a free dinner.

To purchase tickets or receive more information contact Thomas Stratton at 530-949-2168 or CTD Dream Builders at 916-308-3441. In Stockton call Brenda Kemp @ 916-847-3306.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

March 19, 2010

West Coast Bikers Round-Up

The West Coast Bikers Round-Up (WCBRU) invites motorcycle clubs, motorcycle enthusiast and their families and friends to come out and enjoy 3 days of camping and events at Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park. WCBRU will host their 3rd annual round-up at Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park June 3 – 5, 2010.

Early Bird Specials must be purchased before April 30, 2010.

For more information call 800-922-0957.

To read about the 2008 round-up and to see pictures from the round-up visit the WCBRU site.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

March 17, 2010

Ms. Alice C. Royal Honored

In a March 10, 2010 blog post the City Project honored Ms. Alice C. Royal as part of their Celebrate for Women’s History Month. Ms. Royal, the author of the book Allensworth: The Freedom Colony, was born in her grandparents Allensworth home in 1923 and has been committed to the promotion of Allensworth ever since.

Her book is temporarily out of stock however, you can read a small part of the book at Amazon.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

March 11, 2010

March For California's Future

On Wednesday, March 10, 2010 March For California’s Future marched into Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park. The marchers were welcomed to the park by Rev. Eric Lee, the President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Los Angeles, who explained the history of Allensworth. Also on hand was Friends of Allensworth member Josephine Triplett.

The marchers begin marching on March 5, 2010 from Los Angeles and will march 260 miles to the California State Capitol for a rally on April 21, 2010.

Along the way they will:

Register voters
Collect signatures to put the Majority Budget measure on the ballot
Hold teach-ins and town hall meetings
Visit legislators
Hold rallies to enlist your support
Blog, tweet and record the action on the frontlines with live video feeds
March on the state capitol on April 21 to make our voices heard

You can see pictures from their stay at Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park on their Facebook page. You can also follow the marchers and learn more about the March For California’s Future at their web site.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

March 09, 2010

Assembly Bill 2356

On February 19, 2010 Assembly Member Amina Carter introduced Assembly Bill 2356. The bill establishes a 2.5 mile buffer a round Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park that would prohibit development that is incompatible with the historical or recreational significance of the park.

AB 2356 is one of bills that the California State Parks Foundation asked legislators to support during Park Advocacy Day 2010.

You can read the complete bill on the California State Senate site.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

March 03, 2010

Allensworth State Historic Park Black History Month


The sun shined on this event from 10:00 a.m. until late afternoon. The attendance was all cars and trains, on the last weekend of the month. The volunteers and the rangers provided walking tours of the buildings. All who were able to attend had a great time with the personal touch of the various walking tours.

The next event at the park will be the May Old Time Jubilee on May 15, 2010 from 10:00 a.m. Until 4:00 p.m. Remember there are other events at the park, and you can schedule a visit to the park, or a family gathering.

Call 661-849-4012 for more information.

Susie Smith
Docent/Volunteer Coordinator
Fremont Chapter of the Friends of Allensworth

March 02, 2010

The African American Experience in Tulare County

Tulare County Museum Hosts Reception to Lunch New Cultural Exhibit:

"The African American Experience in Tulare County"

Tulare County officials will host a reception to celebrate the opening of the exhibition "The African American Experience in Tulare County" from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, March 13 at the Tulare County Museum of Farm Labor and Agriculture at Mooney Grove Park, located in Visalia.

The Museum is also featuring the exhibition: "Allensworth: 100 years of the California Dream" courtesy of the California African American Museum in Los Angeles. A video presentation on the topic will be shown in the Museum's Learning Center. The reception program will include a gospel choir performance as well as a performance by an African drum soloist. There will also be a reading of African American poetry, and refreshments will be served

Admission to the Museum and Mooney Grove Park will be free during the event. For information call 559-733-6616

Kathy McGowan, Curator
Niel Pilegard, County Parks Director

February 24, 2010

State Parks Grassroots Champion Award

The Friends of Allensworth is one of the organizations to receive the California State Parks Foundation’s new award, the State Parks Grassroots Champion Award. The new award honors the organizations, businesses and community groups that have worked to keep California State parks open. In both of the past two years California State parks were scheduled for closure, they were kept open only by the efforts of state park advocates. On Monday, March 8, 2010 the California State Parks Foundation will honor the awardees at their Park Advocacy Day reception in Sacramento.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

February 15, 2010

8th Annual Park Advocacy Day

February 19th is the deadline to register for the California State Parks Foundation’s 8th Annual Park Advocacy Day. The 2010 Park Advocacy Day is Monday, March 8th, at the state capitol in Sacramento.

Park Advocacy Day is an opportunity to sit down with our state legislators, their staff and members of the Governor’s administration, and let them know how important Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park is to the state of California. To remind them that Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park is more than a place of recreation, that it preserves not only an important part of California history, but a vital part of American history. African Americans came to Allensworth from all parts of the United States to pursue the American dream.

The day will begin with registration where you will be assigned to a team of 4-6 people then assemble in the secretary of state’s auditorium for welcome remarks and an overview of the day’s goals. Then participants will participate in apr├Ęs conference at the state capitol. After the press conference the teams will meet with legislators. Teams typically go to 3 – 5 offices during the day, there will also be an afternoon speakers panel followed by a park advocacy day reception.

There is no cost to participate in the park advocacy day, but registration is required.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

February 12, 2010

Ranger Ptomey appears on the Great Day Show

Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park Interpreter Steven Ptomey appears on KMPH FOX 26’s the Great Day news and entertainment show with Kopi Sotiropulos and Kim Stephens. This show is part of their 2010 Black History Month series.

Stephen Hill, Sr.

February 01, 2010

Black History Month at Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park

Please join the Friends of Allensworth and the California Department of Parks and Recreation as we celebrate Black History Month at Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park on Saturday, February 13 & 27, 2010. This is our first major event for 2010, for a list of other events scheduled for this year visit our calendar of events.

The focus of the Black History Month program is to provide activities for school age children that are both entertaining and educational while emphasizing the accomplishments of our African American ancestors. Docents will be on site to give tours of the town’s two room school house, Col Allensworth’s home, the Hindsman General store, the hotel, and the other historic homes and businesses in this self governed all Black town. In addition to the activities and tours, the video “Allensworth: A Piece of the World” will be playing in the visitor center.

Date:  Saturday, February 13 & 27, 2010

Time: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Cost:  Private Vehicles: $6.00


          10-24 passengers $50.00

          25 or more passengers $100.00

For more information about the Black History Program or the Friends of Allensworth contact Thomas Stratton at


Get directions to Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park. Enter your starting address to get driving directions, estimated driving time, and distance to the state park.


Stephen Hill, Sr.

January 12, 2010

Elimination of State Parks From General Fund

On January 8th the governor released his proposed FY 2010-11 state budget. Under the governor’s proposal the state parks would no longer be funded by the state general fund but rather from the controversial Tranquillon ridge offshore oil lease. Has the governor forgotten that the drilling proposal was defeated twice in 2009, first by the State lands commission, then in the legislative e budget negotiations in the fall? What is going to happen to the state parks when the drilling proposal is defeated again in 2010?

You can help Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park and the other state parks by:
• Taking a moment to send a message to your legislators urging them to reject the governor’s proposal
Signing up to gather signatures to put the California State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act of 2010 on the November 2010 ballot
• Submitting an endorsement form for the California State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act of 2010

Stephen Hill, Sr

January 01, 2010

Ballot initiative cleared to gather signatures

On November 4, 2009 we reported on the California State Parks Foundation’s efforts to get the State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act of 2010 on the November 2010 ballot. The Fresno Bee reported on December 31, 2009 that the ballot initiative was cleared by Secretary of State Debra Bowen to begin gathering voter signatures.

If the initiative passes it is expected to generate $500 million a year for park funding and maintenance by adding an $18 surcharge to the annual vehicle registration fee, which will give California motorists free admission to state beaches and parks.

If you are willing to commit to helping put the state Park Access Pass on the ballot go to the California State Parks Foundation web site to join the team.

Stephen Hill, Sr.